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The Straw Bale House
Rating :
Author(s) :
Athena Steen
Bill Steen
David Bainbridge
Pages :
Pub Date :
Edition(s) at Erowid :
Publisher :
Chelsea Green Publishing
A House Made of Straw? Yes! Whether you build an entire house ore something more modest -- a home office or studio, a retreat cabin or guest cottage -- plastered straw bale construction is an exceptionally durable and inexpensive option. What's more, it's fun, because the technique is easy to learn and easy to do yourself. And the resulting living spaces are unusually quiet and comfortable.

The Straw Bale House describes the many benefits of building with straw bales:
  • super-insulation, with R-values as high as R-50
  • good indoor air quality and noise reduction
  • speedy construction process (walls can be erected in a single weekend)
  • construction costs can be as little as $10 per square foot (depending on owner involvement)
  • use of a natural and abundant renewable resource that can be grown susteainably in one season
  • a better solution than burning agricultural waste straw, which creates tons of air pollutants
"The Stra Bale House opens the door to a treature house of information. Room after room overflows with details that empower the dream of truly low-cost, safe, and energy-efficient homes. Through the windows one can view the entire community working together: In Sonora, Mexico, seventeen women are building homes with their own sweat and with knowledge gained from The Straw Bale House. This book is destined to become the classic reference for straw bale construction."
-- Thoric N. Cederstrom, Farmer-to-Farmer Program, Univ. of Arizona

"This is the book we've been waiting for on straw bale construction, one of the most environmentally attractive construction systems available. The authors have done a superb job of providing enough basics to make the book understandable to homeowners, yet enough specifics to make it highly useful to designers and professional builders. On top of this, the book is fascinating to read."
-- Alex Wilson, editor, Environmental Building News

Athena Swentzell Steen and Bill Steen live in Canelo, Arizona and are founders of the Canelo Project, which develops and promotes innovative, community-enhancing approaches to building and living. David Bainbridge is a restoration ecologist at San Diego State University, and is co-author of Village Homes' Solar House Designs. David Eisenberg is a builder with rammed earth, adobe, glass, steel, and concrete who has organized the straw bale wall testing program in Tucson, Arizona.